Texas law takes a hard stance on drug offenses, and the penalties for such crimes can be severe. One area of drug law that has been a hot topic recently is the single drug category associated with Penalty Group 1B. In this blog post, I will explain what Penalty Group 1B is, the controlled substances included in it, and the potential consequences of being charged with possession or possession with intent to deliver in Penalty Group 1B.
Penalty groups are categories of controlled substances as defined by the Texas Health and Safety Code. There are many penalty groups, each with its own set of drugs and corresponding punishments. The severity of the punishment is largely dependent on the penalty group and the amount of the controlled substance involved in the offense.
Penalty Group 1-B
The drugs listed in Penalty Group 1B in Texas are fentanyl, alpha-methylfentanyl, and any other derivative of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It was first synthesized in 1960 and is used medically to treat severe pain, such as pain associated with cancer, surgery, or injury. Fentanyl is available in various forms, including transdermal patches, lozenges, and injectable formulations. It is also often illicitly manufactured and sold on the black market.
Fentanyl is highly potent, and even small amounts can be lethal. It is estimated to be 50-100 times more potent than morphine and 30-50 times more potent than heroin. It produces a similar but more intense high than other opioids, including euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief. The effects of fentanyl can last for several hours.
Alpha-methylfentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is even more potent than fentanyl. It is not approved for medical use in the United States and is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Alpha-methylfentanyl has a similar chemical structure to fentanyl but with an additional methyl group attached to the nitrogen atom in the piperidine ring. This structural modification enhances its potency and makes it even more dangerous than fentanyl.
Other derivatives of fentanyl include acetylfentanyl, butyrfentanyl, carfentanil, and sufentanil, among others. These drugs are chemically similar to fentanyl but with different modifications that alter their potency, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutic or illicit uses.
Carfentanil, for instance, is a synthetic opioid that is estimated to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. It is primarily used as a tranquilizer for large animals, such as elephants and rhinoceroses. However, it has also been illicitly manufactured and sold as a street drug, often mixed with other drugs like heroin or cocaine, and is associated with a significant number of overdose deaths.
The physical appearance of fentanyl and its derivatives can vary depending on the form and source. Fentanyl powder is often white or off-white, while pills or tablets may be various colors, shapes, and sizes. Fentanyl patches are transdermal systems that contain a reservoir of the drug and are typically beige or tan with a clear adhesive layer.
Penalties for Possession and Distribution:
Possession of Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2
Less than 1 gram – State Jail Felony
More than 1 gram and less than 4 grams — Third-Degree Felony
More than 4 grams and less than 200 grams — Second-Degree Felony
More than 200 grams and less than 400 grams — First-Degree Felony
400 grams or more — Super Felony punishable by 10-99 years in prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both
Delivery, Intent to Deliver, and Manufacture of Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2
Less than 1 gram – State Jail Felony
More than 1 gram and less than 4 grams — Second-Degree Felony
More than 4 grams and less than 200 grams — Super Felony punishable by 10-99 years in prison, a fine up to $20,000, or both
More than 200 grams and less than 400 grams — Super Felony punishable by 15-99 years in prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both
400 grams or more — Super Felony punishable by 20-99 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000, or both
Being charged with possession of a controlled substance in Penalty Group 1B in Texas can have severe and long-lasting consequences. If you are convicted, it could result in a felony charge on your record, which can cause significant damage to your personal and professional life. You could lose your job, housing, and other civil liberties, such as the right to vote, own a firearm, or obtain government aid. Additionally, a conviction may impact your ability to obtain future employment, financial aid, or professional licenses.
Navigating the legal system and protecting your rights in a drug case can be challenging and complex, especially without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you, explore your legal options, and develop a strong defense strategy to minimize the consequences of your charges. They can also negotiate with prosecutors, help you obtain a plea bargain, or represent you in court if necessary. With their expertise, they can increase your chances of receiving a favorable outcome in your case, such as a dismissal of charges, reduced sentence, or alternative sentencing options.
San Antonio Drug Possession Attorney
if you or a loved one is facing drug charges involving Penalty Group 1B substances in Texas, it is essential to seek the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney. At Thornton Criminal Defense, we understand the gravity of these charges and are dedicated to providing effective and aggressive representation for our clients.
As a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist and former chief prosecutor, I have extensive experience in both prosecuting and defending drug cases. This unique perspective allows me to anticipate the strategies and tactics that prosecutors may use against my clients, and develop effective counterarguments to protect their rights.
At Thornton Criminal Defense, we are committed to providing individualized attention to each of our clients. We understand that every case is different, and we work tirelessly to build a strong defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of your case. Our goal is to minimize the consequences of your charges, whether it is a dismissal of charges, reduced sentence, or alternative sentencing options.
If you are facing drug charges in Texas, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We will review your case and explain your legal options, so you can make informed decisions about your defense. With our experience and dedication, we will fight to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.